The Stony Brook women’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the coaches’ preseason poll this year, an expectation it hopes to surpass with four returning starters. The team is coming off their first semifinal experience in the America East Conference tournament since 2006 and a fourth place finish in the regular season.
Senior Kirsten Jeter highlights the returning players on the team, as she was a unanimous choice in the preseason All-Conference team, named by the coaches’ poll. Jeter ranked sixth in scoring and fourth in rebounding in the America East.
Senior Misha Horsey also returns coming off a league leading 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Head coach Michelle Cherry, who has coaching experience in the WNBA, feels that the two players will be key in which direction the team will head this upcoming season.
“Horsey and Jeter are going to lead the way for us,” she said. “The experience is really going to help.”
Coach Cherry said that this was the first year that she had a fully experienced team and also emphasized the return of senior guard Jodie Plikus, who she called their best shooter, and transfers who are coming in.
With the combination of Plikus and the new transfers, Coach Cherry believes that there will be pressure off Jeter, and there will be more options to score for more consistency on offense.
Defense has always been the strength of the team, but it would like to improve on giving up almost 65 points per game.
Vermont, last year’s American East champion, is not expected to contend with no returning starters on the team. They have been among the best programs in the conference, and its rebuilding process paves the way for schools like Boston University, Binghamton, Hartford and Stony Brook.
“On any given night this is a tough conference,” Coach Cherry said. “You definitely have to bring your A game; there’s no guaranteed win.”
Stony Brook is one of four teams in the division that has not won a conference tournament title. And with Jeter, Horsey and Plikus, all seniors and graduating, it may seem as if this is the team’s best shot for a title. However, the team consists of seven sophomores and one freshman, most with game-time experience. Stony Brook hopes that the combination of youth and experience can mix well in the upcoming season.
Stony Brook’s first game is in North Carolina as they face off against Troy in the Phoenix Classic on Nov. 12. The Seawolves will hold their home opener six days later against Hofstra.